August Update on All Things TM!

August 10, 2010

July was an exciting month for us. John Deere Earth Mover Action was recommended on the NBC Today Show as the best DVD for boys ages 2-5. We also released John Deere Action 2, a great new action-packed ag video for kids. Our next release for children, Fun on the Farm, is our first pre-school title and includes animated segments. Tom McComas and Michael Childress are in the final stages of production of Fun on the Farm and this DVD will be available in mid-September just in time for the holidays.

Tom and Michael are also working on a documentary about legendary custom car builder, Chip Foose and the John Deere 4020 tractor he customized for the John Deere Big Buck Sales Event promotional giveaway. The 4020 ‘hot rod’ has spent the summer touring Deere dealers throughout the US and will be raffled off in September. For a sneak preview of the Foose 4020 tractor featured in our newest family DVD, check out Chip’s website or John Deere’s website.

August is here, and we have good news for our Lionel customers. We listened, we commiserated, we said perhaps someday… Yes, someday arrived, and we are writing a new 2011 Prewar/Postwar Lionel Price & Rarity Guide available in October. Plus Tom McComas and Joe Stachler are currently working on two new shows scheduled for release in October: Lionel Nation 5, and A Lionel Christmas Part 2.

The 2011 TM catalog is also in final production. Robin Coe, our graphic designer, is figuring how to add all the new products and get everything to the printer because we want the catalog to mail October 1st. Remember we are a small company and rely on email blitzes to keep our customers up-to-date, so if you want to know what is in production and take advantage of great specials, send us an email with your address to

Please use our blog for your questions, concerns, suggestions, and reviews. We are listening. Back to work now because those autumn leaves and September deadlines are only a few short summery weeks away.

A Bridge is Born

April 28, 2009

tm-logo-2009-smThere’s something magic and irresistible about a train going over a bridge. The toy train makers knew this so they made lots of bridges – girder, trestle, truss, arch-under, lift bridges, Bascule bridges, and – the most impressive bridge ever built for a toy train – the Hell Gate bridge. The Hell Gate was built by Lionel in the 1920s and was modeled after the famous rail bridge that spans the East River in New York.

Of all the different types of bridges, suspension bridges are among the most beautiful. The tall towers and the sweeping, curved lines of the cables make for a majestic vista – a perfect setting for a train. But there has never been a rail suspension bridge for toy trains. Until now.

TM Books & Video, who has been producing books and videos for the you train hobby for 35 years, is offering a new line of custom built bridges, designed with a toy train layout in mind. “I love bridges,” says TM producer Tom McComas. “I love to film trains going over and through bridges, but I got tired of seeing the same old bridges. I wanted something new.”

McComas started looking for new bridges. Couldn’t find anything so he contacted R. J. Walpole, a cabinet maker, who just installed a new bookcase in Tom’s office. “He did a magnificent job,” says McComas. “The bookcase is a work-of-art.” So McComas sketched a suspension bridge and asked RJ if he could make it. “Sure,” said RJ.

RJ made a fine model of a suspension bridge.
“Can you make more,” asked McComas.
“Sure,” said RJ, again.
And so the Custom Bridge Division of TM Books & Video was born.

“It was the same back in 1974 when we published our first book,” said McComas. “My focus group consisted of me asking myself one question – would I buy the book? My answer was yes so we published. Well, I’d sure buy this bridge.”

One style is currently available. It comes a 40-inch span with two towers ($395) and a 56-inch span with three towers ($495). Built by hand from scratch, the bridge reflects a skilled cabinet maker’s eye for detail, fit, and perspective. Different finishes and custom sizes are available.

“The bridge is gorgeous,” says McComas, expansively.

For more information call 800-982-2822, or visit TM’s website.

Help us mess up! We need ideas for some new bloopers! Also, tell us your favorite ones, thus far…

April 21, 2009